With you gone, I’m alive,
Makes me feel like I took happy pills,
Nora Jones, Happy Pills
The events of last year caught up to me and I was having a hard time getting over it.
But I didn’t want to go on serious chemicals. Been there, done that. I resorted to St. John’s Wort which had helped in the past.
The gray depression was creeping up on me far too often and it was more and more difficult to pull myself out of it. Everything made me cry. One day I had to leave my desk to have a cry in the washroom. Not good.
Realising I needed help; I went to see a counsellor. After my third session, she said, “I know you didn’t want to resort to anti-depressants but you are struggling so hard that maybe you should consider it. You’ve been through a lot and it’s not fair to expect yourself to recover all on your own.”
Down we go
The issue was that I would spiral downwards very easily. My hopelessness would move from bad to worse and I seemed helpless to stop it.
I could beat myself up for not doing things that could help, like exercising. There’s no need to convince me that exercise helps relieves depression; I’ve experienced it firsthand. Problem was that I never had enough energy to get out the door. It was far easier to sit on the couch and feel sorry for myself.
Plus the fatigue was overwhelming. Some days it was everything I could do to put one foot in front of another. Other days I felt like sitting on a bench and staying there. I certainly didn’t feel like writing.
No Joy Here
Depression robs you of joy in life. Things that you would normally do to have fun, you don’t do. You want to retreat from the world. Better yet, stay in bed and just sleep.
Of course the last years of my marriage didn’t help either. Now that was depressing. I spent so many years trying to make wasband happy that not only was I feeling down, I completely forgot what I used to do for fun.
Time for Real Happy Pills
So I went to see the doctor to ask for chemicals. “What are your symptoms,” the doctor asked. I started to cry. “I see, if you experienced no side effects from the pills you were on last time, why don’t we put you on those?” he stated. “Should start taking effect in 2 – 6 weeks.”
Years ago, my dear, old pharmacist called them, “happy pills.” He said, “You don’t seem sad to me.” “Well, I’m a damn good actress,” I replied.
So I left the office with my prescriptions for happy pills, already feeling a bit better.
Getting Better all the Time
It was definitely a placebo effect, but I felt lighter the day after I started the chemicals. The gray had lifted; colours were back, my energy was better. When I woke up, I felt like I had slept.
My counsellor said it could be part placebo, part the body remembering the chemicals. Either way, it’s a relief.
That first weekend, I played music, hung the last of my pictures, cleaned out cupboards that I had just shoved stuff into, cleaned the garage and unpacked the final boxes from the move in November. I even pulled out the 50/50 list and thought about what to do next.
Just gotta get on that exercise thang now. Maybe next week, don’t want to rush things, eh?